Thursday, April 27, 2006

I've got gas

I've got gas, but it's some of the most expensive gas in the country. This map is a gas map courtesy of Gas Buddy. The interesting thing is that it shows where the most expensive and least expensive counties in the United States are located in terms of average price for a gallon of gas. See San Francisco? Run up the California coast until you hit the dark red (the symbol for most expensive). That is Humbolt County, home of Humbolt State, the City of Eureka, the Avenue of the Giants Redwoods, and the highest price for gas in the United States. Average cost for a gallon; $3.34 and rising. I live in the county just south of Humbolt, which is called Mendocino County. Our average is .20 less at $3.14. Now take a look at the dark green the right, located in the state of Wyoming. That is Natrona County, where the average price for a gallon of gas is $2.39. Those are the highest and lowest prices in the country. Quite a little disparity, isn't it?

I'm not really surprised, or angry about the current gas situation. I teach Economics and the problems with gas prices are perfect examples of supply and demand in full effect. People in the United States, and in California in particular, love to drive. This high demand equals higher prices which means more money for the oil companies. Is this bad? Not at all, since we are the ones voluntarily buying the gas. If you look at the profit margins of the oil business, you will see that it is pretty on par with most industries in today's day and age, which means that all the complaining by politicians is simply pandering to constituents. Record profits the problem? Here are the causes:
-bigger cars
-more drivers
-more developed countries
-longer driving times
-more commutes

That all equals more gas, and more profits. Don't complain, you are the one buying it.
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